Stirling Pipers Tales

Stirling Burgh Records 20 July 1607 - Ordinis the thesaure to provyde and funes George Crawfurde, drummer and John Forbes Pyper, ilk ane of thame, with breikis and schankis of red stemmyng.

Kirk Session Records of Stirling ( in Misc of Maitland Club Vol 1 P131) Sept 28 1598 - Compeirit Duncan Ure and John Forbes pyper, quha be thair awin confessionis are fund to have walkit all nycht, playand togither at the dyse (dice) in Marion Gairdnaris hous, quill iiij houris in the morning that they discordit and therfor the brethren thinkis meit, that the bailleis detein thame in waird quhill Sonday, thair fude to be bread and wattir; and upon Sonday nixt that they mak publict repentance.

Extracts from the Burgh Records of Stirling – 1519 – 1666 – Glasgow 1887 -27 May 1611 - Ordinis the thesaure to answer george Crawfurde, drummer of ane garment of rid stemmying ( taming – a woolen material) with white pasmentis (lace) as use is.

6 June 1614 - Ordanes the thesaurer to wair tuelf pundis upoun rid stemmying to be ane garment of claythis to George Craufurde drummer, of the towns livery, and the drummer to weir the same ilk Sonday quhill they be done; and he to mak the rest of the expensis himself

8 august 1614 - ressaves Harie Levingstoun, pyper, in menstrall and pyper of this burgh to serve quhill Martinmas 1615 and the counsall allowis to him sic fies and casualities as uther hes had of befouir

2 June 1622 = The Counsell ordines the thesaurare to by and furnes to the foure officiars and to the drummer and pyper, ilk ane of thame, ane garment of rid Ingleshe kaser, viz - coit , breikis, and shankis with white knettings, wrocht in gude fassoun. Kaser = cashmere ,Shankis = stockings

31 January 1642 - Ressaves and admittis Duncane Ewing, sone to John Ewing, webster, quha wes drummer baithe to captaine Johnne Short and to captain Thomas Rollock in the publict service of the armye at Kelso, Newcastle and Durham, to the libertie and freedom of ane nychtbour and burges of the said burgh and that for his good service aforsaid.

28 November 1642 - the baillies and counsell has conducet and agreit with Duncan Ewing to be ordiner drummer of this burghe during the tounes gude will and his habilitie and gude behaviour, for the quhilk service the toun obleissis thame and thare thesaurare to pay to him (£60) yearly togidder with and leverie of claithes…and also foure poundis yeirlie by and atour the said some of thrie scoir pundis and his Yule wages. And the said Duncan Ewing, embracing the said service maid faith that he sall faithfullie exercise the said office, and sall touke his - drum nychtlie at sevin houris and everye morning at foure houris begynning at the Lady Vennell and thairfra throw the haill toun. Of the quilk thrie scoir foure pounds the toun sall pay yeirlie £4 the guild brethren, £20 the crafts, £20 the maltmen £10 and the omnigradum viz the wrichtis, maissones, coupares, litstares (dyers), glassinwrichtis, sklaitteris, gairdneris, the sume of £10 yeirlie.

11 July 1664 - The Councill considering the sickness and povertie of John Buchanan, towne pyper, they ordeane the thesaurer to give him twelve pounds Scotch for his present supplie.


Stirling 2Oth Ju1y 1607 - ordains the treasurer to provide and furnish "George Crawfurde, drummare and Johnne Forbes, pyper, ilk ane of thame, with breiks and schanks of ryd stemmyng". (breiks = breeches, schanks = stockings, ryd stemmyng = red woven cloth)

John Forbes and George Crawford were respectively the town piper and town drummer of Stirling, and probably well respected in their way. However John Forbes had the misfortune to fall foul of the ever vigilant Kirk Session.

Stirling - September 28 1598-(2)

Compared Duncan Ure and Johnne Forbes, pyper, who by their own confessions are found to have "walked all nycht, playand togither at the dyse (dice)" in Marion Gardners house until 4 o’clock in the morning, until they argued. The brethren think ...that the baillies detain them in ward until Sunday, their 'fude to be bread and watter"; and on Sunday next" that they make publict repentance."

(1) Extracts from the Burgh Records of Stirling--Glasgow 1887

(2) Miscellany of the Maitland Club, Vol 1 P131--Edinburgh 1840.

Temming – a woollen material

Pasmentis - lace

Kaser - cashmere

Shankis - stockings

Prikat sang - musical notation